South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Explains Conspiracies

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8th Mar 2016

An experienced South Florida criminal defense attorney can explain that conspiracy cases are highly technical in nature.  Florida criminal statutes specifically define the act of conspiring as agreeing, conspiring, combining or confederating with another person or multiple people in order to commit a criminal offense.  A South Florida criminal defense attorney holds the prosecution to its burden to prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt and zealously provides a defense to his or her client.

Elements of Conspiracy

In the United States, a person is presumed innocent.  He or she should only be convicted if the prosecution proves each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.  In conspiracy cases, the prosecution must prove two things.  First, the prosecution must prove that the defendant had the intent to commit a crime.  Second, the prosecution must show that the defendant agreed, conspired, combined or confederated with another individual in order to effectuate the commission of the crime.  Basically, the prosecution must prove that the defendant had  intent to commit a crime and an agreement with another person to make it happen.  It is not uncommon for conspiracy to be charged in addition to the offense committed.

Defenses to Conspiracy

There are a number of plausible defenses to conspiracy.  Even if the defendant engaged in some criminal activity, the agreement must be based on the same offense.  If the agreement was to commit a different crime, a conspiracy did not exist.  Simply being present at the scene of a crime does not provide the necessary proof of a conspiracy, nor does showing that the defendant aided or abetted.  A defendant who does not agree to a crime and only has minimal link to the crime is not guilty of a conspiracy.  Likewise, simply knowing about a crime or even participating in it is not sufficient proof of a conspiracy if the prosecution cannot prove the elements of an agreement and intent.  Another possible defense is showing that the defendant withdrew from the conspiracy and prevented the crime from being committed.